I think I'm definitely going to take a late-round flier on Jason Heyward.
From Braves beat writer Dave O'Brien in today's Atlanta Journal Constitution:
Chipper on Heyward: As long as we’re on the subject of the future Face of the Franchise, here’s what the current Face said about Heyward when I asked Chipper Jones this week about the big kid (6-4, 245 pounds) who figures to be in right field before the Fourth of July, and perhaps three months sooner than that.
“I got to hit with him yesterday, and I was more than impressed,” Chipper said on Wednesday. “I’ve got a pretty good feeling he’s going to seize this opportunity and make the most of it.”
People keep asking me – your Crusading Everyman, Pseudo-Hipster blogmeister — and everyone else who’s seen Heyward whom we’d compare him to, and I’ve said physically he reminds me of Derrek Lee. I think he hits the ball as hard as Cliff Floyd, who Jim Leyland once told me hit them as hard or harder than anyone Leyland had ever seen.
As for Chipper, he says Heyward reminds him of someone that many Braves fans are more familiar with. Fred McGriff.
“His swing’s obviously a little different, but he looks like a bigger, more muscular version of Fred,” Chipper said. “And that’s saying something. Fred’s 6-5, 230 or so. This kid, he’s built like a brick house. And to watch the way the ball jumps off his bat … it’s batting practice, I know, and everybody’s supposed to do that in batting practice. But….
“It’s going to be interesting to see how he hits the breaking stuff, how he makes adjustments pitch-to-pitch, at-bat to at-bat, can he make the adjustment. And that’s all something he’s done in the minor leagues. It’s a little bit different making the adjustment up here, but looking at his makeup, mindset and coachability, it looks like he’s ready and raring to go.”
Good thing my league added "things that mean little to nothing" as one of our categories.
Just so you don't think I'm being an ass, obviously he is very good. But what did you expect a possible teammate to say about their elite top prospect that many think is the best in the minors. It's nice to read, but these comments means practically nothing.
kaiser wrote:I disagree. It doesn't mean draft him in the second round, but it may help someone who is making a list of those one or two guys you take a chance on at the end of the draft.
I like to hear the comparisons from someone who knows hitting. It's not like Chipper's sitting here saying he's the next Mays or Mantle...he's comparing him to McGriff whom he's played with and obviously knows well enough.
I still think you're going to see Heyward drafted too early in a lot of leagues, similar to Wieters last year. I highly doubt he becomes a 22nd round dilemma for someone.
RedSoxNation04 wrote:I still think you're going to see Heyward drafted too early in a lot of leagues, similar to Wieters last year. I highly doubt he becomes a 22nd round dilemma for someone.
My thoughts exactly. Someone's going to reach for him early hoping he can fly out of the gate. I also tend to agree with hybrid. Chipper hasn't said anything groundbreaking that would affect where I slot Heyward on my draft board.
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“He’s virtually skipping Triple-A if he makes the team,” manager Bobby Cox said of Heyward, who played in three late-season games at Triple-A Gwinnett and has only 50 games and 173 at-bats above Class A.
“That doesn’t happen often. But in his case we just feel that he should, if he’s going to come to spring training, be given a crack at it,” Cox said.
Atlanta Journal Constitution, 2/5/10
If he is not with the big club by June, I will be very surprised.